Teeter Rock

Deb) Welcome back. You know one thing that we have a lot of in Kansas is rock. And we’ve got the Flint Hills, which couldn’t be cultivated because the flint rock is so close to the surface. We’ve got the land of post rock fences, because they didn’t have trees to make fences out of. So, they used rock and then of course we’ve got all these wonderful stone buildings because that’s what we’ve got to build with. We’ve got rocks. (Frank) We have lots of rocks. Sandstone and flint and all kinds of stuff. (Deb) All kinds of rocks. Some big rocks, some little rocks. We’ve got all kinds of rocks all over Kansas. (Frank) In fact, they’re a lot of towns that have survived destruction of modern day and all of that. In fact, Alma is one that is, the buildings there most every one of them is made from native stone. (Deb) Oh, that’s a pretty town. (Frank) Oh ya it is. (Deb) A beautiful town. You’ve got me wanting some cheese from Alma. (Frank) Alma cheese, yea. (Deb) Alma cheese now. We’ll have to run over there later to get some Alma cheese. (Frank) Yea. (Deb) So, it’s no mystery that people have used these rocks for a lot of things and that’s what Frank’s story is about today about some of the rocks that weren’t natural landmarks. Well you could just make yourself a landmark, couldn’t you? (Frank) Yea, well and that really kind of is the gist of the story, why there is Teter Rock because it’s kind of the last vestige of what was there. (Deb) What was there. (Frank) Do I have you intrigued? (Deb) Yes. (Frank) Anyway, let’s find out about the famous Teter Rock. Our friend Marci Penner of the Kansas Sampler Foundation reminds us that to “get” Kansas you sometime have to go out of your way to be in the realm of what was. Nice to have a big stone to give us a great reason to go there. In the 1870s James Teter piled rocks as a marker to guide pioneers searching for the Cottonwood River. Eventually the rocks were removed and used for construction materials. In 1954 a 16-foot-tall slab of rock was erected on this hilltop in honor of Mr. Teter. Although this jagged monolith that slices the clean Flint Hills air is marked up with graffiti, it’s still an excellent Kansas landmark, says Marci. The view is vintage remote Flint Hills. Teter Rock also marks the approximate vicinity of Teterville, an oil boomtown of the 1920s. At one point there were more than 600 people in Teterville along with two general stores, a school, a post office, and shotgun houses for oil workers and their families. By the 1960s everyone and nearly everything was gone. Today, you really have to use your imagination to envision such a town. A few foundations are the only remnants. You can learn more about the town at the Greenwood County Historical Museum in Eureka.